South African Government welcomes the reconciliation between the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and Hamas

07 February 2012

The Government of South Africa welcomes the reconciliation agreement between Palestinian Authority (PNA) President Mahmoud Abbas and Mr Khaled Meshaal, Chairperson of the politburo of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance movement, Hamas, on Monday, 06 February 2011 in Qatar. Both parties agreed to participate in a unity Government in the Israeli occupied West Bank and Gaza.

The agreement announced by President Abbas as leader of the PNA and Mr. Khaled Meshaal as the leader of Hamas is encouraging, as the two Palestinian leaders committed themselves to working together to announce a new interim government in the coming weeks in preparation for the setting of a date for future presidential and legislative elections, expected to occur during 2012.

It is noteworthy that this reconciliation has taken effect in a climate of ongoing regional tensions, a Middle East Peace Process hampered by continuous disagreement and the as yet unfulfilled establishment of a Palestinian State.

South Africa calls on both the PNA and Hamas to proceed rapidly with preparations for the envisaged elections, which will enhance democracy and ensure that internal  Palestinian unity can be sustained.

It is well understood that any reconciliation agreement will come with its complexities and challenges, particularly in the build-up to the envisaged elections. However, South Africa is confident that both parties will jointly deal with these complexities and challenges as conveyed by the new spirit of cooperation.

South Africa congratulates the two parties and will support all attempts toward democracy, peace, stability, the advancement of human rights and human dignity in their society.

The people of South Africa continue to strongly support Palestinian Statehood and achieving the basic fundamental rights to which all peoples  are entitled.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, 082 884 5974.

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation

OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road

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